My trip to Portugal was my first solo travel experience, and I was surprised at how exciting it can be. I immersed myself in the environment in ways I never thought possible, and I let my days unfold on their own.
I knew I wanted to take a quick trip on the famous tram 28 line:
I hopped off near the Baixa-Chiado metro station to navigate my way back to a restaurant I saw on the tram that interested me. Wandering the streets allows you to see what else is around:
Lisbon is known for its unique tiles on its buildings. On my way, I came across an antique tile shop and bought some for my mum and my grandmother. Since I know my mother will be reading this, I have uploaded a picture of a pretty blue tile on a building I saw (not the one she will be receiving!):
A Mercearia is a fusion of Portuguese flavours and healthy options. I was really proud of myself for finding it since I’m usually the type of person to spend a lot of time on Yelp looking for places to eat/drink. Although I’m not eating stereotypical dishes 100% of the time, cafes such as this are a great way to get to know what the local people are like.
I ended up spending my afternoon exploring the Baixa-Chiado and Barrio Alto neighbourhoods and absorbing the amazing colours and tiles of the buildings. My Airbnb host told me these areas are popular to visit. I experimented a lot with the Panorama function on my iPhone camera and it came up with great results, if I say so myself. I only wish I had my Polaroid camera with me too!
I also found what claimed to be the world’s oldest bookshop. It’s completely renovated inside though – I was more excited to see Livraria Lello in Porto.
My friend Eleanor told me about a gelato place in Lisbon she went to called Amorino. Their specialty is the way in which they scoop the ice-cream: in the shape of a flower. There have a number of shops across Europe and the U.S. I ordered chocolate, mandarin stracciatella, Sicilian citrus and raspberry (the latter recommended to me with my combination by the girl at the counter).
While I’m on the subject of dessert, I noticed that Portuguese desserts tend to be of a fusion of France and Italy (aside from their own pastries). Gelato and crepes are very popular here.
I ended up having a look inside the Museum of Design, which was holding an exhibition on global and Portuguese design history:
Once the sun set I ate more seafood for dinner – absolutely incredible!